COMMUNITY: a unified body of individuals; the people with common interests living in a particular area; a group of people with a common characteristic or interest living together within a larger society
I’m a relatively new homeowner, having purchased my home in 2012, but not moving in until Fall of 2016. Upon moving in, I quickly threw my name out as someone who was ready and willing to lend a helping hand and I volunteered to serve on a committee. Why I didn’t take my wife’s advice and find a fun group to join, I still don’t know? She went for golf and joined the Lady Niners, I went for politics, go figure!
First, I was accepted to serve on the Design Review Committee as a Sub-Member. I thoroughly enjoy serving on this committee and I learn something new each and every week from the amazing, smart, hard-working homeowners who volunteer to serve on this committee. Each day is something a little different, as we process through the various homeowner applications for their home projects. This is truly one of the hardest working committees in our community.
Next, I was invited to submit my application to the Information Advisory Committee, which I did. I was asked to attend a meeting, I introduced myself to the committee, they asked me questions and then I was approved to their committee. Within a few months, the Chair stepped down unexpectedly and we were left to look for a new Chair. After three months on this committee a vote was taken and I was asked to serve as a Co-Chair. “I’m too new, I don’t know everything I need to know”, I argued. I was assured, “we’ll all pinch in and help you”! This was all within my first few months of residency. The term welcome to the neighborhood and be careful what you ask for, comes to mind!!! (Thank goodness for my fellow Chair, Scott Buchanan, who has been a real inspiration and champion for the improvement of our SCSH Website)! Watch for our re-launch of the newly revised website on October 31st!
I’ve had to learn quickly who the “powers that be” are in our community. I have met SO MANY wonderful people here who have been extremely welcoming to me as a new homeowner, as well as, a new volunteer committee member on these two committees. One thing that cannot be denied, I’ve realized we have some phenomenal employees and volunteer residents here who do everything they can to make our community the “Paradise” it is, on a daily basis!
However, I have also picked up on a couple of darker realities about our community and that is unsettling to me. Primarily, I’ve been warned about the “warring factions” of some resident groups. I’ve even been warned to “watch out who you support”. I’ve always been a person who likes to see all sides of an issue before I make a decision. I don’t usually like to be told WHO to support, I’d rather come to a decision after I have had an opportunity to listen to all sides. I guess that’s why I am registered as an Independent! So, I have been carefully, methodically and I’ve even been treading lightly around the community, as I formed my own opinions. I’ve spoken with folks from individual groups, clubs, fitness classes, politics, cafes, and what I’m trying to say is I haven’t gotten my information from just one group!
I have come to the conclusion that, although there may be differing versions of the past (elections), for example, there really is only ONE homeowner group that matters to me and that is the group called the SUN CITY SHADOW HILLS HOMEOWNERS. Now, let me explain. We are ALL members of this group, having purchased homes here. We all have the same worries about living here. We want low (HOA) fees, we want a beautifully landscaped community, both private lots, as well as common grounds. We want the latest and greatest amenities and we want them maintained at the highest level. Each of us is concerned about how well our homes maintain their property values and therefore, do not want our dirty laundry being aired across the internet for potential buyers to read. We want a transparent Board of Directors, we want a responsive, honest management group and we want CONTROL of our money!!! We want a say in how our dollars are being spent. I’m pretty sure we ALL can agree on this!
We have WAY MORE in common than these sanctioned resident groups might have us believe, at least that’s how I see it. I am a believer in transparency and I think we should always strive to be 100% as honest as is possible, except when to do so might injure others. There are times when our Board must not detail every little thing that they are dealing with, when it comes to personnel issues, contracts and covenants, etc. I support the current HOA Board and our President, Kim Fuller. I think he is the right person to have at the helm during this difficult time in our HOA. He will steer us to the other side of this and we will be a stronger, smarter, more informed HOA when we are through. I am confident in our Board’s ability to oversee our $14 million budget. I know that we have superb help in Tyler Ingle, our Controller, Carey Thompson, our Treasurer, and Mr. Bill Wethe and his Finance committee who will create the controls necessary, so that embezzlement, corruption, or any other malfeasants can be virtually eliminated! In time, we will get there with lots of homeowners input via the many committees. In the end, Associa will make us whole and the people who wronged us will be held accountable.
I’m also a fan of the 1st Amendment and think all sides have a right to be heard. That is why I am proposing that we hear from some of our homeowners who have concerns/ideas to share. I am proposing that we allow for homeowners to share their ideas for a storyline, without committing to being on the IAC committee. Homeowner’s who would like to reach our entire community, not just those who have opted-in or out, or those who have been “accepted” into certain FB websites, Nextdoor, etc.
Therefore, if you have an idea for an article you’d like shared with our community, please submit those ideas to the Information Advisory Committee by clicking on the Ask a Question button and submit your idea. In the subject line please enter IDEA. We will comb through the ideas and put one of our writers on it.
I cannot promise you that ALL stories will be written, but we will try to make a concerted effort towards that goal! It has been my pleasure to serve on these two committees and I hope to continue doing so for the foreseeable future. If we haven’t met yet, please feel free to introduce yourself when you see me around at some of our many offerings in this amazing community!
By Erin Smith, Co-Chair of the IAC